Portsmouth 2 Burnley 0: Secret of success - don't pay players! Goals from Hreidarsson and Dindane seal win for Pompey

By Alex Crook

Portsmouth's players have had almost as many missed pay cheques as Barclays Premier League wins this season.

After only their third victory, manager Avram Grant jovially claimed that he had unearthed a masterplan to spearhead an unlikely escape from relegation.

Pompey's first win of the campaign, following seven successive defeats, came at Wolves in October after the players had not received their wages.


Home win: Pompey beat Burnley to earn a much-needed three points

It took until October 31 for a home victory - a 4-0 thrashing of Wigan - after 60 non-playing staff had not been paid.

Grant joked after the latest win, which followed another pay day delay: 'Maybe this is the way forward. It is cheaper for the club and we get three points.'

Portsmouth remain subject to a Premier League transfer embargo and the fact that mysterious new owner Ali Al Faraj had to borrow more money to settle unpaid November wages suggests Grant won't be spending his way out of trouble in January.

The club are also said to owe an agent £2million for the sale of Lassana Diarra. Portsmouth match-winner Aruna Dindane was told he would not play against Burnley because Pompey could not fulfil their agreement to pay parent club Lens £4m to make his loan permanent once he had played 12 games.

Enlarge   Aruna Dindane

Bad day at the office: Aruna Dindane missed from the spot in the first-half of Saturday's lunch-time kick off

Only after frantic Friday night negotiating by chief executive Peter Storrie did the French club agree to turn a blind eye to the clause.

The saga clearly affected Dindane as he produced an awful first-half display, missing an open goal from six yards before putting a penalty into the arms of Burnley keeper Brian Jensen.

It looked as if those misses would prove costly until Hermann Hreidarsson steered the ball home from a tight angle after being fed by the ageless Kanu 25 minutes from time.

Dindane could finally celebrate in the 84th minute when his back-post header from Jamie O'Hara's cross sealed a nervy victory.

With next weekend's trip to Sunderland followed by games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, Hreidarsson knows they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves.


Aruruna Dindane may be a lively forward who gets into great positions but his wayward shooting will hardly strike fear into the Ivory Coast's opponents. His penalty miss was pitiful and, even though he got his fourth League goal of the season, he always seems to need a handful of chances before he hits the target. He is certainly no Didier Drogba.  

Hreidarsson said: 'We can't complain too much. We're still getting paid for playing football in the Premier League.

'Don't feel too sorry for us as long as the club survives.'

Burnley manager Owen Coyle took a thinly disguised swipe at his opponents' mismanagement.

Coyle said: 'Pompey's budget is probably three times what ours is. When you enter into a contract and those salaries have been agreed then they should be paid and, if they are not, then it's up to the powers that be.'

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